Ambition, passion and hard work truly pay off
This autumn, the North Texas Ace Foundation (NTAF) held the Rebecca Keel Memorial Scholarship in honor of Rebecca Keel, a former PhysAssist Scribe who tragically lost her life in 2015. Becky was a true leader. She was passionate, adventurous, bright and a huge dreamer who hoped to make the world a better place. (Click here to read more about Becky.)
More than 70 incredibly driven, remarkable individuals applied for the scholarship, from which one shining star was selected to receive the $5,000 award: Priya Patel, a junior attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Not only is Priya an exceptional student, she is tireless, partaking in a myriad of activities from volunteering for Habitat for Humanity to the North Texas Food Bank to taking classical Indian dancing classes! Additionally, Priya works as a medical scribe for the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman team in Dallas.
Becky Keel traveled to Australia for six months and hoped to one day return for an extended time helping animals. Priya has brought Becky's love of travel to life by already traveling to expand her pre-med knowledge while helping people. In fact, she is doing a one-month medical internship this summer in Seville, Spain (followed by a month at Oxford University in England, where she will be studying business administration, her minor). And after that? She is spending a week in Honduras as part of the Global Medical Brigade, organized through SMU. One day, she hopes to become a doctor, a neurosurgeon perhaps, traversing the planet providing medical treatment in underserved nations so those in need can lead healthy lives.
A FAMILY PRESENTATION
Priya received the Rebecca Keel Memorial Scholarship award during the PhysAssist Scribes Leadership Conference, held January 11-12, 2017, in Hurst, TX. Becky's family presented the check accompanied by NTAF Board Members. Jim Keel, Becky's father, delivered a warm, heartfelt speech honoring his daughter and Priya:
We are so honored that Becky’s spirit will live on through this scholarship. Becky valued things such as education, compassion, and learning from others, and we are thrilled that the first recipient of the Rebecca Keel Memorial Scholarship embodies those values. Like our daughter, Priya walks through the world with purpose and uses her talents and passions for the good of others. Priya is someone who Becky would have respected and admired. And may have, in return for chemistry tutoring, taken to visit the bobcats she loved to work with. We are humbled that Becky continues to help others do good in the world and we look forward to seeing all the good that comes from Priya.
NTAF Board Director Alex Geesbreght also praised Priya for bringing to life NTAF's philosophies:
Among its initiatives, NTAF is dedicated to supporting individuals who go above and beyond in their pursuit for a future in health care. Our board was incredibly impressed with Priya's dedication to medicine and overall passion for life. She truly embodies Becky's resoluteness, unwavering energy and compassion for others. We are honored to help her pave a successful road in medicine.
ASPIRATIONS, HOPES & DREAMS
"Becky sounds like an incredible person," stated Priya, "someone who possesses all of the traits I wish I could have. She's caring and passionate and puts her whole heart into everything she does. I think that I have begun to embody her spirit through my service, dedication and aspirations." Honored for this award Priya will be putting it toward tuition. She has a busy year (and summer) planned, but luckily just got the MCATs put behind her on January 28. In no time at all, she will be pursuing her PhD and MD working toward that goal of giving back to all of those in need.
We asked Priya if she had any advice for other PhysAssist Scribes: “As a scribe, you get what you put into it. It's about making a connection with the doctors, looking and learning. But this goes beyond scribing. The more time and effort you put into anything, the more you get out of it. Be passionate about what you’re doing and go for it all of the way.” We love the way you think, Priya. Great advice for all of our scribes: be passionate and just go for it!
SPOTLIGHT ON ADDITIONAL scholarship FINALISTS
A very special congratulations to the four finalists who were selected for outstanding performance and exemplary work. Each of these individuals was also selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship in honor of Rebecca Keel:
- Daniel R. Schaefer, Florida State University
- Taylor A. Matson, Texas A&M University
- Victoria L. Ford, University of Central Oklahoma
- Isabelle Joyce B. Agapito, University of South Florida
The North Texas Ace Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports initiatives in human healthcare, animal welfare and the education of today's youth pursuing a future in medicine. Among their programs are special scholarship opportunities for individuals who are trying to help the better good. The Rebecca Keel Memorial Scholarship was created to honor Becky while rewarding individuals who are passionate leaders pursuing a future in healthcare. Click here to learn more.